Category Archives: Competitions

Kentucky Three-Day Event Early Bird Pricing Ends Dec. 6

The best tickets at the best prices for the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event are available now.

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The “Best Weekend All Year” returns to the Kentucky Horse Park April 25-28, 2019.

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The Official Event Program is half price when you pre-order it. Just $5 when pre-ordered, the program is the ultimate guide for planning and navigating your Best Weekend All Year. Add a program to your order here.

The Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix is coming back to LRK3DE 2019. Get your tickets now.

Another Golden Bonanza for Brazil

The Chilean Pre-Junior and Junior team silver medallists. (FEI/Cristian León/TopComunicaciones)

Chilean delight with double team silver; Argentina claims three podium places

Brazil dominated once again when taking all the gold on offer, and more, at the FEI Jumping South American Championships for Young Riders, Juniors, Pre-Juniors and Children 2018 at San Carlos de Apoquindo in Las Condes, Chile. These Championships are a great test for the next generation of Jumping athletes in the region, and a total of 93 horse-and-rider partnerships from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela competed at this year’s edition.

With medals on offer in seven categories, the Brazilian haul was little short of spectacular as they scooped 16 of the 21 sets on offer. However, there was plenty for the hosts to celebrate as they produced their best performance of the last four years when claiming both Pre-Junior and Junior team silver, while Argentina claimed bronze in the Children’s Team competition along with Young Riders Individual silver and bronze.

Children

The Children’s Championship was one of the most exciting of the week, coming down to a three-way jump-off for individual silver and bronze. Brazil’s Eduardo Coelho Barbara (13) was already in gold medal position after a brilliant series of performances with Quatuor de Coutol before his compatriots Antonio Johannpeter Cirne Lima and Gabriela Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan took on Argentina’s Lucas Guevara in the race against the clock.

Guevara had enjoyed a brilliant run with CT Chamaco, winning the first qualifier, contributing to his country’s team bronze medal success, and then coming out on top in the Individual Final competition. It seemed the 14-year-old must be destined to take a podium placing, but he left a fence on the floor in the jump-off and had to settle for fourth place behind Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan in bronze and Johannpeter Cirne Lima in silver.

A zero score for the Brazil Amarelo side of Augusto Bonotto Perfeito, Maithe Carolina Gabriel de Limo Marino, Camila Alvares Correa de Siqueira, Henrique Maranhao, and Audrey Jean Paranaiba McKinnon clinched the Children’s team title. Coelho Barbara was joined by Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan, Johannpeter Cirne Lima, Lara Ozores de Souza, and Joao Felipe de Albuquerque Maranhao Gomes to claim silver while Argentina’s Guevara, Delfina Spinella, Bautista Jaled, Camila Sensever, and Thiago Brown bagged bronze.

Pre-Junior

All eyes were on Philip Greenlees in the Pre-Junior Championship after his victory in the 2017 FEI Children’s International Classics Final in Beijing last December, but the 15-year-old had to settle for individual silver behind Maria Luiza da Silva Martha Vieira, while Lys Katherine Park Kang sealed another completely Brazilian podium.

Da Silva Martha Vieira and Park Kang were joined by Caroline Souza Chade, Joao Pedro de Almeida Chaves, and Leandro Jose Abrahao Duarte Alecrim to take the Pre-Junior Team title, and Greenlees was on the bronze-medal winning Brazil Amarela side. But strong performances from Trinidad Soffia, Benjamin Fuente-Alba Vignola, Maria Ignacia del Pedregal Villalobos, Jose Tomas Duran Ramirez, and Guillermo Garin put smiles on Chilean faces as they easily slipped into silver medal spot.

“The work begins to be reflected in the results, which is very important. We have developed an arduous process and this medal reflects an advance because in this category we have won two consecutive bronzes.” — Joaquín Larraín (Coach, Team Chile)

Juniors

Brazil’s Thales Gabriel de Lima Marino took double-gold in the Junior division to increase his South American medal tally to five. The 17-year-old who won team gold and individual bronze in Buenos Aires (ARG) last year was joined by the experienced trio of Laura Bosquirolli Tigre, Marcelo Gozzi, and Pedro Malucelli Egoroff to clinch the team honours yet again. However, the Chilean foursome of Carmen Novion, Magdalena Pena, and brothers Mateo and Raimundo Guarda was less than 10 points adrift in silver medal spot, while the Brazil Verde team claimed the bronze.

The host nation made a great start when Raimundo and Mateo finished first and third in the opening individual competition. But De Lima Marino was unstoppable on his way to individual glory, and when Gozzi seized silver and Felipe Pereira Teixeira took his second bronze medal of the tournament, it was another all-Brazilian party on the podium.

Young Riders

There were just five contenders for the Young Rider title and while gold went to Brazil, it was Argentina that took silver and bronze.

Argentina’s Richard Kierkegaard and Contiki won the opening round, but Brazil’s Victoria Junqueira Ribeiro de Mendonca (20) topped the next two competitions partnering the Holsteiner Una Bella to complete on a score of just 7.91 penalty points. That left her way ahead of Argentina’s Emilia Grimaldi in silver and Victoria Garcia Colombo in bronze when the final scores were counted.

This was Junqueira Ribeiro de Mendonca’s seventh South American Championship and brought her tally of gold to four. She scooped double-gold at the South Americans in Sao Paolo (BRA) in 2016 when she was also on the team that finished second in the FEI Junior Nations Cup at Wellington, Florida (USA).

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

McLain Ward Triumphant in $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto

McLain Ward and HH Gigi’s Girl. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario -Two-time U.S Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward claimed the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto, presented by GroupBy, in front of a sold-out crowd on Saturday night, November 10, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.

Ward topped a 21-horse starting field over tracks set by 2018 World Championship course designer, Alan Wade of Ireland, to claim the ninth Royal Horse Show World Cup title of his career. As the final challenger in the jump-off, Ward saved the best for last, executing a brilliant round to stop the clock at 32.42 seconds riding HH Gigi’s Girl. Ward’s U.S. gold medal teammate at the recent World Championships, Devin Ryan, posted a time of 33.88 seconds with his World Championship partner, Eddie Blue, to finish runner-up.

“It was nice to have the last spot in the order,” said Ward, who was presented with the Hickstead Trophy, given in memory of Eric Lamaze’s legendary 2008 Olympic gold medal partner, and a Longines timepiece for his win. “I know Devin and his horse are quick because he has beat me a few times. Sometimes you get lucky.

“This was a gymnastics test, which is what courses are now at the highest level,” continued Ward of Wade’s track, one that HH Gigi’s Girl, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Vingino x Celano) owned by Double H Farm, conquered with style. “The mare performed beautifully the whole second part of this year and is really putting things together, and it’s a great way for her to finish her season. She has always been a spectacular jumper and I feel she has a really exciting future.”

Ward, 43, estimates that he has been competing at the Royal Horse Show for almost a quarter of a century, saying, “I love it here. Obviously, I’m not Canadian, but I think of this as a second home. The show is being run beautifully and the organization is phenomenal. As you saw, we had a sold-out crowd, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.”

The victory earned Ward coveted qualifying points for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final, an event he won in 2017. The 2019 edition will be held next April in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Ward, who had also won the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open one night earlier riding Tradition de la Roque, earned the Leading International Rider title.

Ryan’s second-place finish placed him closer to his goal of qualifying for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final after a spectacular year for him and his mount, Eddie Blue, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by LL Show Jumpers LLC.

“As I always say, take it one day at a time, but this year I am going to try to make it back to the World Cup Final,” he said. “We’ll see how the cards play out, but he’s had quite a big year this year, and I think he’s a really special horse, so I don’t want to over use him.

“You always think about what you would you have done differently,” continued Ryan, 36, of his position behind Ward. “I didn’t take quite the shot that McLain took. I probably should have tried it, but that’s show jumping for you!”

Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC posted the first clear round of the evening riding her 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, Hermelien vd Hooghoeve, and opened the jump-off by again jumping clear in a time of 34.62 seconds for third place.

“It’s always harder going first because you know you have to go clear,” said Ramsay, 26, who first attended the Royal Horse Show in 2012 when she won the Running Fox CET Medal Final. “I think my horse did everything I asked of her. We are really lucky to have this Canadian indoor venue here at The Royal and having this crowd is really unlike anything else.”

Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire also posted a double-clear performance in a time of 35.20 seconds to finish fourth riding Roulette BH for owner Gochman Sport Horse LLC, while New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley rounded out the jump-off field in fifth place after having a rail down over the short course aboard Barnetta, owned by Sky Group.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

Nassar and Lordan Repeat Longines Victory in Thermal

Nayel Nassar and Lordan. (FEI / Ashley Neuhof)

For the second year in a row — and third overall — Nayel Nassar (EGY) and his indelible mount Lordan led the victory gallop in the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Thermal (USA).

Besting a jump-off field of five, Nassar and his 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding crossed the timers of Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) shortened course in 43.89 seconds. The duo narrowly edged Eve Jobs, who recorded the best World Cup finish of her career with her own Venue d’Fees des Hazalles; their time was 43.97 seconds. Lisa Carlsen (CAN) finished third aboard Parette after recording the winning time but pulling the rail at the final fence.

“I’m just thrilled with my horse and thrilled to be sitting here again!” — Nayel Nassar (EGY)

Nassar has been partnered with Lordan for more than seven years. In addition to winning last year’s event, the pair also topped the class in 2016. Nassar used his longtime partnership to his advantage, creating his own jump-off plan based off his horse’s quick, yet smaller, stride.

“I tried not to focus too much on what the other riders were doing,” Nassar said. “I know that Lordan is a very different kind of horse with a different kind of stride. I just wanted to know whether my jump-off pace was going to be fast enough or if I needed to take any extra risks.”

The pace proved to be just enough, resulting in a close, eight-hundredths of a second margin of victory.

“It ended up being a lot closer than I expected,” Nassar said, “but luckily we were on the right side of that today.”

Consistency Proves Key

With consistent, points-earning performances in Vancouver (CAN), Columbus (USA), Del Mar (USA) and Thermal, Jobs took over the lead in the west coast sub league standings of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League with 48 points.

Should Jobs qualify to compete at Gothenburg (SWE) in April, it would be her first appearance in a World Cup Final.

“If everything goes as planned, and I can continue to feel comfortable competing at such a high level, I would be honored to go,” she said. “I’m very excited.”

Richard Spooner (USA), a 15-time World Cup Finals veteran, including last season, moved into second in the standings after finishing fourth in Thermal. He has 36 points, four ahead of Zazou Hoffman (USA), who won the World Cup qualifier at Del Mar (USA) in October.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Green Meadows Coaching Keeps ‘Old Times’ Alive at Royal Horse Show

McLain Ward, his wife, Lauren, and their three-year-old daughter, Lilly, joined the Wallers atop the ‘Old Times.’ Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Mr. and Mrs. Harvey and Mary Waller of Stockbridge, MA and their ‘Old Times’ coach claimed a third consecutive victory in the historic Green Meadows Four-In-Hand Coaching Appointments Class on Friday, November 9, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

“It never gets old!” said Mary of the win on Friday night. “It’s always special. I love the Royal.”

The Green Meadows Coaching division, generously sponsored by Hugessen Consulting, Inc., is dedicated to the great tradition of the road coaches and park drags of years gone by, and the Wallers’ ‘Old Times’ coach exemplifies a fine example of that tradition.

The ‘Old Times’ coach was famously driven from London to Brighton, England in the 1880s. It has since been conserved in its entirety by the Wallers, who purchased the road coach in 2001 and had the paint stripped down to find the original color and lettering, enabling it to be put back to its exact original appearance.

That attention to detail is part of what helped the Wallers earn the win in the Coaching Appointments Class, judged on performance, presentation, and emphasis on appointments. All three factors were taken into consideration during Friday evening’s Green Meadows Four-In-Hand Coaching Appointments Class in the Coca-Cola Coliseum, while the presentation and emphasis on appointments were also judged during a special reception on Friday afternoon.

“This is a very special coach, so it’s nice to bring it here to a special show,” said Mary. “The way they do the appointments in the other ring beforehand showcases the coaches. You get to see them in a special surrounding, and it makes it that much nicer. All of our staff works so hard, so for them to see it in there after they’ve been working on it for days – and then to have us win – it’s really more for them than for us because it’s our whole team that has accomplished this!”

This year, the Wallers also had three special guests as part of their winning team for the evening’s Coaching Appointments Class. Two-time Olympic and recent World Championship team gold medalist, McLain Ward, rode on ‘Old Times’ alongside his wife, Lauren, and their three-year-old daughter, Lilly.

“We’ve known McLain forever, and he’s probably ridden with us three or four times here at The Royal,” said Mary. “Lilly was bracketed by mom and dad holding her in up there! It was really fun having them with us.”

Finishing in second behind the Wallers was the Canadian entry of Gerben Steenbeek and his park drag entry for Stonecreek Friesians of St. Marys, ON. Third place went to John P. White of Newtown, NJ driving a road coach, ‘Excelsior,’ for Shallow Brook Farm.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

Kuhn Weathers the Storm to Win on Second Day of 2018 US Dressage Finals

Friday morning at the 2018 US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington dawned with the type of weather conditions more suitable for staying in bed than having the ride of one’s life. Hailing from New Berlin, Ill., Martin Kuhn (Region 4) is no stranger to chilly weather, but when he entered the ring at 10am for the Training Level Open Championship, the persistent rain and 40-degree temperature was admittedly tough to handle. But his mount, Debra Klamen’s five-year-old Hanoverian gelding Ronin (Romanov Blue Hor x Something Royal by Sir Donnerhall I, bred in the U.S. by Marcia Boeing) held steadfast, earning the championship title with an impressive score of 72.803%.

“It was really cold and wet, but my horse seemed unaffected by the conditions – they bothered me much more!” Kuhn laughed. “Situations like this can often be ‘interesting’ with young horses, but even though he’s only five, at this point in the show season he’s been out a lot and in some challenging environments. So when the time came to go down centerline today, he put his head down and did his job. I couldn’t be more happy with him.”

Kuhn is no stranger to success at the US Dressage Finals, finding the winner’s circle with several talented mounts over the last six years. But in his opinion, Ronin stands out. “He’s an amazing athlete – I think he’s the most talented young horse I’ve ever sat on,” Kuhn explained. “I’ve had the privilege to work with lots of horses who have ability, are willing and fun to ride, but on top of that, Ronin is easily the most athletic and elastic horse I’ve ever ridden.”

Also impressed with the maturity of her young partner under adverse weather conditions was Reserve Champion Kelsey Broecker of Celina, Texas (Region 9), who rode Molly Huie’s four-year-old Hanoverian gelding Caelius (Christ x Hauptstutbuch Bonny by Buddenbrock) to a score of 71.818%. “By our ride time, I was ready to be done,” she laughed. “But like Martin’s [Kuhn’s] horse, mine was also unfazed by weather and the overall atmosphere. He doesn’t act like a typical four-year-old – he’s a bit of an old soul, so agreeable and so much fun to ride. He’s just a joy to bring to shows.”

Hometown Girl Laura Crowl Wins Big in Second Level Adult Amateur Championship

Almost 40 competitors from all across the country entered the Claiborne Ring to compete for this year’s Second Level Adult Amateur Championship title, but local eventer and newlywed Laura Crowl of Lexington, Ky. (Region 2) only had to drive a few miles down the road to claim the blue ribbon with her six-year-old U.S.-bred Dutch Warmblood mare Hana (UB-40 x Jolien E by Chronos). After overcoming an untimely hoof abscess right before the Region 2 Championships, Crowl and Hana successfully made it to the Finals and became the only combination to top the 70% mark from all three judges, earning the unanimous victory with 71.585% to earn their first national title.

“I loved almost everything about our test,” said Crowl. “She was really spot on the entire time and did everything I asked. Over the last month I’ve asked her for a little more expression in the movements, and I think the judges appreciated it. She really stepped up to the plate.”

As an eventer who has competed through the FEI 2* level, Crowl originally found Hana in the local barn of her breeder, Reese Koffler-Stanfield, when searching for her next prospect. But the relationship got off to a rocky start. “The first time I rode her she bit me, and it turned out she hated stadium,” Crowl laughed. “But she loved dressage so I had to adjust to what she wanted to do, and along the way I realized it’s fun, not just something you get through to go cross-country. It definitely was a little interesting in the beginning, but we’ve grown to love each other since then.”

In her first trip to the US Dressage Finals, Amanda Lopez of Sarasota, Fla. (Region 3) earned Reserve Championship honors with her nine-year-old Westfalen gelding Rubitanos Dream (Rubitano x Diva by Dream of Glory) with 69.431%. “I like horses with a little character, and we joke that he’s like one of the ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz – it has to fit, and we just really ‘click’ with each other,” said Lopez of her mount. “I feel so lucky that he chose me as his person. He aims to please with a heart of gold, and I was so honored to show him today in front of these judges and against this caliber of competition.”

Growing Confidence Earns Sandeman the Third Level Open Championship

Angela Jackson of Henderson, Ky. (Region 2) already knew Sandeman was a nice horse, since earlier this summer the six-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Sir Donnerhall x Flora by Florencio, owned by Julie Cook) earned reserve honors at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships at Lamplight. But it was the youngster’s ever-growing confidence in himself that carried the pair to the unanimous victory under all judges in Friday’s Third Level Open Championship with a total score of 73.632%.

“It was one of our nicest rides of the year, so to do that here is special,” Jackson explained. “Sandeman has grown up a lot. I could finally ride each movement of the test with a little more confidence today, and everything fell into place. This is definitely ‘the’ show of the season. I’m so thankful for all of the sponsors who support this event, and everyone who makes it possible. It’s the highlight of our year.”

Martin Kuhn (Region 4) participated in his second awards ceremony of the day, this time taking Reserve Champion with 72.265% at Third Level aboard Elizabeth Cronin’s seven-year-old Westfalen gelding Venivici (Vitalis x Sabrina by Sherlock Holmes), who earned First Level Open Reserve Championship honors last year. “It was a little exciting in the cold and the rain, but he stayed with me,” Kuhn noted. “It was definitely a little bit of a conservative ride, but he trusted me and was happy to do his job. He used to be a little bit of a nervous type, but like Angela’s [Jackson’s] horse, as he’s matured, he’s become much more confident.”

Sara Stone Rises to the Challenge in Fourth Level Adult Amateur Championship

As Sara Stone of Lake in the Hills, Ill. (Region 4) and her seven-year-old American Warmblood gelding Gotham (Gabriel x Mystic, bred in the U.S. by Indian Hills Stables) prepared for their afternoon ride in the Fourth Level Adult Amateur Championship, she knew she was facing quite a challenge. “It was a very tough class, and I didn’t think we had a chance at all,” Stone admitted. “But Gotham was in a great mood this afternoon, and he actually likes this chilly weather. When we came out of the ring, I was so focused on what we were doing that I actually wasn’t sure what to think about our test.”

Not long after, all Stone could think about was how proud she was of her mount as the pair emerged as victors with a winning score of 67.704%. “I bought him when he was just three, and he’s the first horse of my own that I have ridden at this level. He’s my best friend,” said Stone, who works in commercial insurance in addition to raising a family. “As an adult amateur, all of the hard work, passion, sweat and tears that goes into having an everyday job and being a mom all while trying to ride…to be able to come to a show like this and lay it all on the line with so many people supporting you…it’s the icing on the cake at the end of the year, and I can’t wait to come back again next year.”

Reserve Champion Amy Gimbel of Oldwick, N.J. (Region 8), who also works in the insurance field when not in the saddle, was equally delighted with her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Eye Candy (UB-40 x Wednesday by Weltmeyer, bred in the U.S. by Judy Barrett) and their second-place score of 67.407%. “We had some nice moments as well as some tense moments, but overall I was pleased,” Gimbel noted. “We’ve been to the Finals before but took a few years off – Eye Candy had an injury and it’s been a bit of a slow, arduous journey back, something that so many horse people can relate to. Just to be back here is a big accomplishment for us and means a lot.”

Romantico SF Bounces Back to Claim Intermediate I Open Championship

Over the course of more than four straight hours of hard-fought competition on Friday afternoon in the Alltech Arena, competitors battled for top honors in the Intermediate I Open Championship. With a score of 72.157%, ultimate victor Heather Mason of Lebanon, N.J. (Region 8) explained how her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding Romantico SF (Romancero H x Wesermelodie by Wenzel I) had already proven to be the winner of a much bigger battle – for his life.

“He was laid up for a year with an injury, and I only had about two rides on him when he went in for colic surgery the week after I returned home from last year’s Finals,” Mason remembered. “But amazingly here we are. He’s not an easy horse, which is how I originally ended up with him for just a dollar. But he was great today: the first medium trot was a little bit tentative, but as we got more comfortable in there he was very good. His canter work is generally strong, his pirouettes were very solid, and his zig zag was good. He’s back and better than ever.”

Finishing in Reserve with 71.373% were last year’s Prix St. Georges Open division champions Nora Batchelder of Williston, Fla. (Region 3) and the 10-year-old U.S.-bred Hanoverian gelding Faro SQF (Fidertanz x MS Rose by Rotspon, bred by Jill Peterson). “He was super brave and ready to go today – there’s always a lot of atmosphere in the Alltech Arena but he dealt with it really well,” Batchelder said of her mount. “The canter work is always his strong suit, and I also thought his trot extensions were nice. It’s even more exciting for him to do well because his co-owner and my cousin Andrea Whitcomb is here to watch this year, which makes it extra special.”

Finals First-Timer Hannah Hewitt Wins Intermediate I Adult Amateur Championship

It may have been Hannah Hewitt’s very first time cantering down centerline into the impressive atmosphere of the Alltech Arena, but she and Tammy Pearson’s eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Fidens (Tango x Bliss by United) looked like Finals veterans as they came away with the victory in the Intermediate I Adult Amateur Championship on a score of 67.745%.

“I’m so excited to be here for my first Finals, and it’s been amazing. My trainer, Karen Lipp, has been here several times and really encouraged me to try for this,” said Hewitt, of Atlanta, Ga. (Region 3), who attends law school and finds time to train by being in the saddle before 7am almost every day. “I was very happy with the energy we had today: a little more expression in the trot, and I loved our pirouettes. He’s still young, but has grown up a lot even in just the last few months, and he surprised me a little bit in that he was unaffected by the Alltech Arena – he was very steady and good. He’s a small horse with a big personality, and is just a joy to ride.”

After claiming the 2017 title at this level, defending champion and director/cinematographer Elma Garcia of Mill Spring, N.C. (Region 1) returned to the Finals to claim this year’s Reserve Championship with her 16-year-old Hanoverian mare Wenesa (Westernhagen x Dancing Girl by Davignon) with 67.696%. “Since this spring I have a new program with Wenesa because we’re preparing for the Intermediaire II, so she’s changed a lot since last year – she’s feeling very powerful and is more sensitive,” Garcia explained. “I love coming here and showing in front of so many top judges, and experiencing the camaraderie among the competitors from all over the country and seeing so many different breeds, all in one place. It’s a special feeling.”

Alice Tarjan Wins Second Straight 2018 Finals Title in Grand Prix Adult Amateur Championship

After emerging victorious in Thursday’s Intermediate II Adult Amateur division, Alice Tarjan of Oldwick, N.J. (representing Region 1) is now two-for-two at this year’s US Dressage Finals with her eight-year-old Hanoverian mare Candescent (Christ x Farina by Falkenstern II). The pair returned to the winner’s circle in the Grand Prix Adult Amateur Championship with a score of 64.203% to claim the new George W. Wagner Jr. Perpetual Trophy (presented by the International Georgian Grande Horse Registry). “She was on fire in the warm-up,” said Tarjan. “Even though we had a couple of mistakes today, I’m thrilled because she’s a young horse and the quality keeps getting better and better. She’s so much better than she was just six months ago.”

Fellow Region 1 rider Kristin Herzing of Harrisburg, Pa. and her Hanoverian gelding Gentleman (Grusus x Rumpelstilzchen by Raphael, bred in the U.S. by Kathryn and Jeffrey Nesbit) have been together for 15 years, and traveled to Kentucky this year for their fourth US Dressage Finals. The pair’s persistence paid off with Reserve Champion honors in the Grand Prix Adult Amateur division with 61.667%. “Coming to the Finals is on my list of goals every year,” Herzing explained. “I’m so pleased with my horse today. He may be 20 years old, but he is a bit of a nervous type. He knows his job and the test, so I just try to keep him calm and steady. I knew I needed to have a clean test, and we did.”

Adiah HP Wows the Crowd in Grand Prix Open Championship

At first glance, the colorful mare Adiah HP may not look like your stereotypical Grand Prix dressage champion. But everyone knows a book can’t be judged by its cover, and this 11-year-old Friesian Sport Horse (Nico x Marije ANT by Anton, owned and bred in the U.S. by Sherry Koella) is no exception. In the experienced hands of James Koford of Winston-Salem, N.C. (Region 1), Adiah HP had the crowd cheering in the Alltech Arena as she claimed the Grand Prix Open Championship and Veronica Holt Perpetual Trophy (presented by USDF Region 5 and Friends) with 69.130%.

“I am so pumped! She’s getting so mature – now she goes in the ring and gets excited, but I can channel that energy,” said Koford after the win. “I saw her in a clinic four years ago and thought she was the most fun horse I’d ever seen, and I had to sit on her. Now she’s gone on to do everything I’ve asked and more. She’s like my dirt bike: I just get to run around and have fun, without stress or drama. It just gives me goosebumps because it’s so much fun to get on a horse like this that loves to go in the show ring.”

Last year’s Intermediate II Open Reserve Champion Judy Kelly of Clarkston, Mich. (Region 2) returned to the Finals with her 14-year-old Hanoverian mare Benise (Breitling W x Rubina by Rubinstein) and added another Reserve title to their resume, this time in the Grand Prix Open division with 67.862%. “This is her second year at the level so she can do everything; I just wanted to be able to guide and direct her and show her off. Now we’ll try to do the same thing tomorrow night in the freestyle,” said Kelly.

To learn more about the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, download competition information, review day sheets and results, and read daily news releases, visit the official event website at www.usdressagefinals.com.

Ward Wins Weston Canadian Open

McLain Ward. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Speed was the name of the game and none were faster than McLain Ward of the United States to win the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open on Friday night, November 9, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

The premise was simple: leave all the jumps in place over the course designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade and do it in the fastest time. Six riders left all the rails up, with Ward accomplishing the feat in a time of 62.71 seconds. His mount was Tradition de la Roque, an 11-year-old black French-bred mare owned by Kessler Show Stables.

Canada’s own Keean White of Rockwood, ON gave it his best effort riding Leilani, an eight-year-old grey Oldenburg mare owned by Lisa Marie Gauthier and Angelstone Farm. With a time of 63.49 seconds, White finished as the runner-up. Capt. Brian Cournane riding Penelope Cruz and Conor Swail aboard GK Coco Chanel took third and fourth places for Ireland respectively with times of 64.11 and 64.70 seconds. Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire was fifth with a clear round in a time of 68.17 riding Roulette BH while 2017 Canadian Champion Amy Millar of Perth, ON posted the only other clear round of the night to finish sixth with Heros.

Ward, 43, estimates that this is his 23rd or 24th time competing at the Royal Horse Show.

“I love it here,” said Ward, who was a member of the gold medal team at the recent World Championships. “I think this is one of the great events in our sport throughout the world. The atmosphere, the way that they have been able to hold on to so many traditional aspects of the event – I think it’s a phenomenal evening. It’s one of the few places where I come to watch something other than show jumping.

“The Royal is something that is very special to me,” continued Ward. “The environment here is brilliant. This is a crowd that really understands the sport and appreciates the animals. It still has great ties to agriculture. People make an effort to dress up and make it an important evening. I think it creates an environment that is electric and special to be a part of.”

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

Daniel Bluman Wins for Israel at Royal Horse Show

Daniel Bluman riding Ladriano Z. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Israel’s Daniel Bluman won the $85,000 GroupBy “Big Ben” Challenge on Thursday night, November 8, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

Twenty-two of the world’s top show jumping athletes entered the Coca-Cola Coliseum in the hopes of scoring victory in the $85,000 GroupBy “Big Ben” Challenge, a sentimental favourite at the Royal Horse Show named for Ian Millar’s former mount. Eleven mastered the track set by 2018 World Championship course designer, Alan Wade of Ireland, to advance to the jump-off.

In the tie-breaker, Bluman saved the best for last, cruising to a clear round in a time of 32.34 seconds riding Ladriano Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Alexa Schwitzer and Blue Star Investments. As the final challenger, Bluman knew the victory was his, and celebrated along with the packed house. Devin Ryan, who recently helped the United States become World Champions, rode his top mount, Eddie Blue, to a clear round in a time of 32.53 seconds to finish runner-up.

“I had the advantage of going last,” said Bluman, who represented the Israeli Show Jumping Team in its first World Championship appearance in September. “Devin’s horse is a very fast horse. It has pretty much the same weapons that mine has to win a class like this one. I won by a fraction of a second. I got lucky also. I could have been second place, but it was meant to be for me tonight.”

At 28 years of age, Bluman has been competing at the Royal Horse Show for several years and appreciated the crowd’s support as he went for the win.

“My first year competing here was 2011; Eric Lamaze got me an invitation,” said Bluman. “I’ve come almost every year since then. I really, really love it. It’s a fantastic city, and it’s a fantastic crowd. When you jump in a place that has a crowd and has an atmosphere, the whole energy changes and your desire to win also changes. We go to a lot of competitions, but when you’re at a show like this, every class you compete in, you want to perform. Forget about the prize money, forget about the world ranking points, forget about anything else; you just want to be the best that you can be for the crowd. That’s what makes it fun!”

Catherine Tyree of the United States took third place with a clear round in a time of 33.32 seconds riding Bokai while Australia’s Rowan Willis and Blue Movie were fourth after crossing the timers in 34.52 seconds. Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON set the pace as the first to go in the jump-off, delivering a fantastic clear in 35.26 seconds aboard Count Me In, owned by Sandy Lupton, to round out the top five.

Captain Brian Cournane Captures $36,000 Brickenden Trophy Victory

Captain Brian Cournane of Ireland enjoyed a win in the $36,000 Brickenden Trophy International Jumpers riding Penelope Cruz on Thursday afternoon.

From a starting field of 19 entries representing eight different countries, nine combinations advanced to the jump-off over Wade’s course. The leading time continued to get progressively faster throughout the jump-off, with the final entry of Cournane and Penelope Cruz, his 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, stopping the clock in 28.69 seconds to take the win.

“She’s naturally a very quick horse, so I knew that if I could do the distances and be tight, she covers the ground very quickly,” said Cournane, who acquired the mare from fellow Irishman Darragh Kerins a year ago. “I had to have a lot of confidence in her to do the tight turns and trust that those jumps would stay up and that we’d be fast.

“I’m so honoured to be here,” continued Cournane, who is competing at The Royal for the first time. “It’s a wonderful show, and I’ve heard so many great things about it. I was first reserve on the invited riders’ list for a couple of weeks; I was really hoping I’d get in and, at the end, I did!”

While Cournane is new to the Royal Horse Show, he’s very familiar with this year’s Royal Horse Show course designer.

“It’s very funny; when I was a kid doing hunter trials in Ireland, I was 16 or 17, and Alan was building the courses back then,” said Cournane, 36. “Now we’re at The Royal, and he’s building! It’s incredible.”

With less than a second separating the top four finishers, second place with a time of 29.09 seconds went to Canada’s Keean White aboard Tahiorn while third place was awarded to Daniel Bluman of Israel with a time of 29.18 seconds riding Colestina H. Rounding out the top four with a time of 29.58 seconds was Kent Farrington, the defending champion of the Royal Horse Show’s marquee event, the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto, riding Daddy Cool.

Sam Walker Rides Winning Streak Into Royal Horse Show

Also claiming a major victory on Thursday afternoon was 16-year-old Sam Walker of Nobleton, ON. Fresh off a win in the prestigious ASPCA Maclay Final at the National Horse Show in Lexington, KY on Sunday, November 4 – where he became only the fourth Canadian winner in the event’s storied history – Walker returned home to Canada to also top the Running Fox CET Medal National Final.

“It feels a little bit surreal!” said Walker of his dual wins, first aboard Waldo on Sunday at the National Horse Show and then four days later riding Willem, a mount owned by Nicole Loochtan that was a last-minute ride for Walker after his intended mount for the final was sold.

“He came up here for the CET from Castlewood Farm in Wellington, FL,” said Walker, who trains with his parents, Scott and Dee Walker of Forest Hill Farm, and John Brennan and Missy Clark at North Run. “He was amazing this week; I couldn’t be happier with how he performed. I’m just really, really grateful that I got the opportunity to ride him.”

Reserve Champion in the Running Fox CET Medal National Final was Beatrice Daviault of Saint-Damase, QC riding Lia; third place went to Mackenzy Nadeau of Carleton Place, ON aboard Ferraro K, owned by Brookstreet Stables. Rounding out the top four was Kyara Semrau of Foothills, AB with Cori Coletta.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

Isabelle Lapierre Captures $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby Victory

Isabelle Lapierre riding Carrera S. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Isabelle Lapierre of Lévis, QC rode Carrera S to victory in the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby on Tuesday, November 6, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

The win marked the pair’s second major hunter derby victory of the Royal Horse Show as they also topped Sunday’s $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby. With riders contesting Tuesday night’s hunter derby finale in reverse order of their standings in Sunday’s class, Lapierre and Carrera S, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Johannie Légaré, were the final entry to navigate the course designed by Rob Carey in the Coca-Cola Coliseum.  Judges Kitty Barker and Rob Bielefeld awarded Lapierre an overall score of 109, including a base score of 93 coupled with handy and high option bonus points, to place the pair at the top of the leaderboard. For the win, Lapierre was awarded the Paddy Ann Burns Trophy.

“With my first horse, I did one less stride everywhere,” said Lapierre, referring to her additional entry in the class, Excellent Balou. “With Carrera S, I added a stride everywhere.  That’s why I like the derbies: it’s not just about the numbers; it’s about the way that your horse goes.  He was very relaxed, and he jumped super.  I think he gave 100 percent.”

As the highest scoring pair in both the Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby and the Knightwood Hunter Derby, Lapierre and Carrera S were presented with the Lorna Jean Guthrie Challenge Trophy as the Canadian Hunter Derby Champion.

“Maybe the best thing is to retire from doing hunter derbies!” joked Lapierre of winning Canada’s highest hunter derby honour.  “To win, it’s like a dream.”

Finishing second in Tuesday night’s class with an overall score of 107 were Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON and Enchanted, owned by Christel Weller.  Not far behind with a score of 103 was Kristjan Good of Campbellville, ON riding Chantilly Lace for owner Shannon Walter, while Ballard also picked up fourth place with a score of 96 aboard ‘Round Midnight, owned by Knightwood Stables.

The Eastern and Western Canadian Hunter Derby Series champions were also recognized on Tuesday evening, with the $10,000 Prince of Thieves Go West Trophy, presented by Jump Canada, awarded to Lapierre and Carrera S as the Eastern Canadian Champions and the $10,000 Represent the West Championship, also presented by Jump Canada, given to Kassidy Keith and Carivero, owned by Miranda Lebeuf, as the Western Champions.

Dressage Dazzles at the Royal Horse Show

Featuring an all-star cast in the Dressage Derby, four riders faced off in a knock-out style competition on Tuesday night.

Esther Mortimer of Guatemala faced off against U.S. Olympian Adrienne Lyle, while Tom Dvorak of Hillsburg, ON challenged fellow Canadian Dressage Team veteran, Jaimey Irwin of Stouffville, ON. All four riders were competing with borrowed horses and had five minutes to familiarize themselves prior to riding a Prix St. Georges test.

Lyle won her knock-out round, as did Dvorak, to advance to the final. Riding yet another unfamiliar mount, Dvorak went first, earning a score of 66.912% from the panel of highly-respected judges. In her Royal Horse Show debut, Lyle used her skill and was awarded a score of 69.559% to be crowned the Royal Dressage Derby Champion.

“I’m really glad I made the trip to The Royal,” said Lyle, who is based in Wellington, FL. “I have always heard about it and never had the chance to come. It’s an incredible venue and something really special. This is a really fun challenge and I love only having a couple minutes to sort it out. It’s a good test of horsemanship and strategy. These are all really incredible riders and it was really close competition.”

Prior to the Dressage Derby, Canadian Dressage Team veteran and Royal Horse Show fan favourite, Jacqueline Brooks, retired her long-time partner, D Niro, in an emotional celebration. Brooks, who has been competing at the Royal Horse Show since 1999, and the 19-year-old grey Swedish Warmblood gelding affectionately known as ‘Goose’ have represented Canada in international competition around the globe, including at the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2013 World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.

As a special highlight, Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu of St. Bruno, QC performed a grand prix freestyle which sees required movements choreographed to music of the rider’s choice. The highest-placed member of the Canadian Dressage Team at the recent 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in September, Fraser-Beaulieu, and her mount, All In, had the crowd roaring its approval.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

International Show Jumping Stars Set for Toronto’s Royal Horse Show

Kent Farrington aboard Voyeur. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Kent Farrington to Defend $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto Title

Toronto, Ontario – U.S. Olympian Kent Farrington will headline a star-studded field as the international show jumping division gets underway at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running November 2 through 11 at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, ON.

Four days of international show jumping competition will culminate in the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, presented by GroupBy, on Saturday night, November 10. Having won last year’s featured event riding Voyeur, Farrington plans to saddle up Creedance as he attempts to defend his title against some of the best show jumping competitors in the world.

“I love the Royal Horse Show,” said Farrington, 37, of Wellington, FL. “It’s a throwback in time with everyone wearing black tie and a packed house. All of the classes feel important. It’s one of my favourite shows in a beautiful city.”

Of Creedance, an expressive 11-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by the rider and R.C.G. Farm, Farrington said, “I’ve had him since he was seven and he’s really stepped up to be a very competitive grand prix horse on the biggest level. He has won classes at The Royal and other five-star events and is very fast indoors. Now that he’s more mature, he’s gotten more predictable and easier to manage. He was quite difficult to manage when he was young but he’s getting better with age.”

Joining Farrington in representing the United States are three of the four 2018 World Championship gold medal team members, Devin Ryan, Adrienne Sternlicht, and McLain Ward. Molly Ashe-Cawley, Margie Goldstein-Engle, Andy Kocher, and Catherine Tyree will also represent the stars and stripes in this year’s international division.

The eight international competitors invited to this year’s Royal Horse Show include Daniel Bluman of Israel, Capt. Brian Cournane, Cormac Hanley, and Conor Swail of Ireland, Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire, Karen Polle representing Japan, Rowan Willis of Australia, and New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley.

Canada will also be represented by eight competitors to make up the total of 24 athletes who contest The Royal’s international division each year. Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, Keean White of Rockwood, ON, and Ian and Jonathon Millar, both of Perth, ON, qualified based on their standings in the Longines World Rankings while Jump Canada’s high-performance committee named Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC and Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON as its two picks for the international division. Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON and Amy Millar of Perth, ON earned their tickets into the international division as the newly crowned Canadian Show Jumping Champion and Reserve Champion, respectively.

The international show jumping division officially opens on Wednesday, November 7, featuring the $36,000 Jolera International Welcome in the evening session. A sentimental favourite, the $85,000 GroupBy ‘Big Ben’ International Challenge highlights Thursday evening while the popular $50,000 Weston Canadian Open is featured on Friday evening’s Royal Horse Show schedule.

Saturday afternoon, November 10, is Family Day, presented by McDonald’s, at the Royal Horse Show. The entertaining K9-Equine Challenge, presented by the Toronto Star, pairs show jumping horses with agility dogs to see who can complete their respective courses in the fastest time. In an unparalleled evening of horse sport, the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, presented by GroupBy, will bring down the curtain on closing night of the Royal Horse Show.

In entertainment, Australia’s Guy McLean will demonstrate his unique form of natural horsemanship throughout the Royal Horse Show while Pogo Puissance by Xpogo will take jumping to new heights as young athletes attempt to set records by jumping obstacles on pogo sticks.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.